Josh Bissinger, MBA Class of 2017
President of the Stern Real Estate Club
Twenty students from the Stern Real Estate Club (SREC) toured 4 World Trade Center (4 WTC) and the recently completed Westfield World Trade retail complex on March 24th. The group first visited 4 World Trade Center for a presentation by Silverstein Properties. Highlights included a detailed presentation from Silverstein, sweeping views of the city, and selfies from the terrace on the 57th floor.
It is amazing to see what is happening at the site: Silverstein is currently developing 3 World Trade Center and is in the process of finding an anchor tenant and securing financing for 2 World Trade Center. When the office towers are completed the World Trade Center buildings will house over 11 million rentable square feet of office space. 4 WTC was the first office tower to open on the 16 acre WTC site in November of 2013. The building was designed by Japanese Architect Fumihiko Maki, also known for 51 Astor Place, and will soon be home to Eataly’s new downtown location. It is rumored to be bigger and better than the Flatiron location.
The group then descended into the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus for a tour of Westfield World Trade Center, led by Evan Walke (MBA ’14): General Manager of the property. The soaring white structure was designed to resemble a bird being released from a child’s hand. We were fortunate to see testing of the 355-foot-long operable glass skylight which can be described as the biggest sunroof in the city. The main hall of the Oculus is a mind-blowing feat of design and construction and is one of the most unique buildings I have ever seen.
Westfield is one the largest owners of shopping centers in the world. They purchased the retail interest of the WTC complex from the Port Authority in 2013. The retail complex is now fully leased to tenants like H&M and Apple who are currently building out their stores. The retail complex comprises 365,000 square feet, roughly the size of nine full city blocks, and will expand with the construction of 2 WTC. The grand opening is scheduled for August 2016.